Women Entrpreneurs


Ceinwyn Rudnick

Wenatchee Women Entrepreneurs: Vital to family, local economy

By Gary Bégin

America recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution giving women the right to vote. Here we are 100 years later celebrating the vital importance of women entrepreneurs in the local, regional, national and world economy.

The Wenatchee Business Journal decided to reach out to two local women business go-getters for their take on what they do everyday to make sure their companies have a place at the larger table of the business community, especially during these chaotic pandemic times.

Ceinwyn Rudnick, owner, founder and general all-around bottle washer at Veritas Accounting said, “The pandemic has created a scenario where women who are mothers and already the primary care providers in many homes, have no choice but to either work from home or leave their jobs if they cannot,” Rudnick said.

“I have personally lost a valued employee because she felt she could not work and school her children at the same time. There are many opportunities to create a vibrant business from home and I do feel that necessity is the mother of invention, but any person who wants to go into business really needs to do a gut check on their path,” she continued.

“Business requires constant investment, not only of money, but also time and passion. If you cannot commit the money to improve and refine, the time to educate yourself and build your processes and the passion to grow and reach out to new people then there are a growing number of jobs that can also be done from home,” said Rudnick.

“I really hate the statistics about businesses ‘failing’. In my experience the reasons for business closures aren't always about lack of profit. Sometimes it's lack of work/life balance or people just fall out of love with their original idea or lack the stamina to scale to the next stage. I absolutely love working with female entrepreneurs - it is some of the most rewarding work I do. But I also don't think every woman should feel that if they do not start a business they are somehow lacking or lagging behind their peers. If anything I hope that women in these difficult times are able to choose the best path forward for themselves and their families without fear guiding their decisions and with hope and belief in themselves as leaders,” Rudnick concluded.

Veritas Accounting can be reached by calling: 509-888-0553.

 

Local Veterans counselor Heather Hill relates her life situations as a woman entrepreneur: “My previous life in the traditional workplace has been dynamic.  I worked in Healthcare Administration and climbed the leadership ladder quickly.  Were there opportunities that I did not gain because of my gender, I do not think so.  However, the day I was going to resign I was coincidentally offered a promotion.  My territory would have expanded from two states to five states.  I was managing 13 agencies and the promotion would have only led to more,” Hill said.

“In response, I told my supervisor I was pregnant, which I was. The response was ‘there is no way you can do this with an infant’, which was quickly followed up with ‘but if there is anyone who can, you can’.  I’m no fool. There was no way I could manage lines of business in five states, let alone the agencies I currently oversaw in two other states, effectively with an infant,” said Hill.

“I would either be a absent mother or poor leader. With this being said, my worldview of being a parent does not match the societal norms.  I’ve read the accounts of female CEO’s from large corporations who discussed how they managed being a mother and CEO. When I read one woman’s ideal was to spend one hour a day with her son – I was out. I want more of a relationship with my children than that,” she continued.

“I had my daughter, and reentered the work world utilizing my master’s degree, which I had not done previously.  I quickly found that even if you are not the ‘executive leader’, you will have the life sucked out of you regardless.  I worked 40 hours a week in the position I held before I left the traditional workplace. The demand of employees was hard.  I often drove home via Taco Bell and threw burritos at my children, my tongue hanging out the side of my mouth, and sobbing at the astronomical piles of laundry that needed to be done,” Hill said.

“I also had to use my paid leave to attend continuing education courses – so selfcare was very limited. I was burned out and did not even know it. This was my new normal.  I was making a decent wage, but I was earning less than I had in my executive job and working harder – the only upside was I wasn’t traveling.  I was also keenly aware that my efforts and services were funding layers upon layers of administration. So many layers of administration. Bring on the surprise baby!” Hill mused.

“As life would have it, I was surprised with a pregnancy in my late 30’s.  Fun huh?  I knew from my last baby at 33 years old, which was a struggle in comparison to my first at 26 years old – something had to give. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I had to find a way to reduce my hours or quit. This led me to Central Washington Veteran’s Counseling. I started part-time as a subcontractor, and eventually built to fulltime when I was ready.  I only had to work 15 hours a week to make what I was earning at my previous employer working 40 hours. This is a no brainer. Then as fate and luck would have it, the owner was retiring, and I was offered the business due to my experience in administration in the past. I jumped at the opportunity,” Hill said.

“Entrepreneurship has not been without heart ache. I wouldn’t suggest taking over a business April 1, 2020 post COVID-19 to anyone. Fortunately, the world I work in has remained fairly stable. Numbers are down, but we are still working less and making more than we did when working for corporations. I’m also mindful of modeling resilience for my daughters and others as we navigate the changes that COVID-19 has brought to businesses,” Hill continued.

“I’m able to manipulate my schedule to meet my family’s needs. I’ve budgeted my billable hours to make the wage I desire as well as account for ‘paid time off’.  It’s huge for me and my family. I would also like to point out – I still don’t work 40 hours. Although I do not earn what I did in Executive Administration, I felt I had to prioritize my values. To have the best opportunity to be the mother I want to be – I couldn’t focus only on the money, but definitely needed autonomy through self-employment,” Hill concluded.

Her business has been brisk and successful enough that she is not currently accepting new clients.

A recent Women Entrepreneur survey concluded:

•70% believe they must work harder for the same opportunities as men.

•43% delayed having children because it would negatively affect their career.

•25% said they had faced pregnancy discrimination.

•42% were overlooked for a raise/promotion at least three separate times.

The top motivation for starting a business was revealed as becoming a role model for younger women (80%), followed by interest in becoming their own boss (61%) and a commitment to helping break the glass ceiling (67%). 

If you have a business story to tell from the viewpoint of being a woman entrepreneur, email gary@ncwmedia.net. The normal WBJ deadline is about the third week of each month for the following month’s issue.

 

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